Lying eighteen miles east of Roatan, and about thirty miles north of Honduras, Guanaja is a little-visited island paradise in the Caribbean. Guanaja has around 45 diving sites and is commonly known as the Island Of Pines. It is very secluded with only one main road and most of the island is covered with conifers. At its highest point Guanaja is 1460 feet above sea level and offers unrivalled views of the Caribbean.
Guanaja, which is the easternmost island in the bay it rests in, also has other activities to offer such as kayaking, snorkelling, hiking, as well as beautiful sights including volcanic caverns, secluded bays, and gorgeous views of the delightful reefs around the island.
There is also an enormous waterfall on the island to explore, with unique Mayan artefacts scattered here and there, still apparently undiscovered to this day. Visitors to the island can also meet the friendly, English-speaking locals, when stopping by the villages of Mangrove Bight and Savannah Bight, Bonacca, Northeast Bight or The Mitch. Fishing is also good here with trips to top fishing spots on offer from the tour company Fly Fish Guanaja.
The main town is Bonacca, for anybody wishing to use services such as the bank, pharmacy, shopping centre, doctors, or indeed just for pleasure. Bonacca is also a great starting point for hikers wishing to go on a jungle tour in the area near The Mitch.
For snorkelers, there are amazing underwater sights to be seen such as barracuda, spiny lobsters, bonefish and many other tropical varieties of fish. Diving resorts include Bo’s Island House, Coral Bay Dive Resort and Dive with Daniel. All of the diving instructors visitors will meet are extremely experienced and know exactly where all the best dive sites are.
Staying in Guanaja is a wonderful experience with holidaymakers recommending Graham’s Place, Clearwater Paradise, and the Caribbean Cottages as the best places to stay. Graham’s Place has its own restaurant and private cabins, recently completing a new 16 room hotel. Clearwater Paradise is relatively new, having opened in 2009 and boasts eight rooms as well as a rental centre for diving gear.
Perhaps the favourite of the list, the Caribbean Cottages offer a unique experience in that holidaymakers can completely relax with no other property visible for miles. This is the ultimate in island holiday experiences as residents of the Caribbean Cottages are completely secluded, giving the impression of being the only person around for miles.
For beach lovers there is a glut of sandy expanses to explore, including but not limited to Michael Rock Beach, Big Gully Beach, Jim Bodden Beach, and Hammond Beach. Each one is completely unique and offers different sights and experiences. For anyone wishing to just relax and soak up the sun, sunbathing is available on any of these beaches, with the only requirements being a towel, a sun hat, and maybe a book.
All in all, Guanaja is a peaceful, relaxing experience, where visitors can forget about the pressures of life and soak up the beautiful, “no-worries”, island atmosphere, as provided by its natives who are lucky enough to live in a relatively untouched paradise on earth.